Gourde continues to rewrite record books at NEICAAA Championships

Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo courtesy Carnegie Mellon sports information)
Irie Gourde '17/MA '18 (Photo courtesy Carnegie Mellon sports information)

HANOVER, N.H. – Graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./York Academy, Toronto) continued to rewrite the Brandeis University Track and Field record books this weekend, as he set school records in each of five races and won two events at the 2018 NEICAAA Championships at Dartmouth College.

Gourde opened the meet on Friday with two individual and one relay record. He ran the fastest time of the preliminaries in both the 200 meters, where his time of 21.51 seconds lowered his own school record by four-tenths of a second, and in the 400 prelims, where his mark of 47.59 seconds lowered his previous career-best of 47.77 seconds set at the UAA Championships and broke a tie with James Thomas '78 that had stood for 40 years. Gourde's third record of the first day of competition came in the 4x100-meter relay, where he teamed with rookie Lorenzo Maddox (Atlanta, Ga./Maynard Jackson), sophomore Churchill Perry (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Westminster Academy) and junior Regan Charie (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) to run a time of 41.68 seconds. The quartet shaved more than a second off the time established earlier this year by Maddox, Gourde, Charie and rookie Jacob Ward (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay). The Judges finished in third place in the event, earning six points.

After his fantastic opening day, Gourde picked up where he left off in Saturday's finals, lowering his records yet again. Gourde won the 200-meter dash in 21.41 seconds, winning the race by 0.24 seconds over a competitor from Division II Merrimack. In the 400, he blew away the field with a time of 47.46 seconds, more than half a second ahead of his Merrimack runner-up. With his impressive marks, Gourde has just about assured himself a spot in both events at the NCAA Division III Championships in two weeks. He is now ranked 10th in Division III in the 200 – his All-America event from the indoor season – and third nationally in the 400. Gourde added 20 more points to the Judges' total.

Brandeis's final scorer on the day was junior Scott Grote (Greenfield, Mass./Greenfield), who placed fourth in the discus throw with a heave of 48.68 meters (159 feet, 8 inches). The throw came in the second round. Grote improved to 27th on the Division III list; he currently sits about two feet short of qualifying for nationals.

With their 31 points on the weekend, the Judges finished in 10th place in the team standings, fourth among Division III schools.

Other performances at the Open New England meet came from rookie Breylen Ammen (Lincoln, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury), who finished 11th in the pole vault with a height of 4.40 meters (14 feet, 5 ¼ inches); senior Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional), who was eighth in his heat, eighth among Division III runners and 20th overall in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:16.42 in his final collegiate race; sophomore Jack Allan (Wrentham, Mass./King Phillip Regional), who was 16th in the long jump (6.32m/20 feet, 9 inches) and 17th in the 110-meter hurdles (15.77 seconds); and Perry, who was 14th in the triple jump, leaping 12.91 meters (42 feet, 4 ¼ inches) on his final attempts.

The Judges will close out the regular season next Thursday at MIT's Last Chance Meet as they attempt to qualify for nationals, which will be held May 24-26 at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.